Conference Agenda

RN11_02a: Emotions in Intimate Relationships and Emotional Reflexivity
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Maja Sawicka, University of Warsaw
Location: BS.3.26
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Future Building, Gender and Emotional Reflexivity: Navigations of Agency and Social Change in Non-Conventional Relationships

Mary Holmes1, Lynn Jamieson1, Kristin Natalier2

1University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; 2Flinders University, Australia

Imagining possible futures, both immediate and distant, is an everyday activity in which people engage. They are likely to do so differently according to their social positioning, biographical propensities and the resources available to them. World leaders engage in ‘strategic planning’, activists in working towards alternative ways of living and school children in daydreams about what they will do when they grow up. However, relatively little is known about the more mundane varieties of future building and how they relate to people’s lives and actions. This paper sets out a conceptual framework to make sense of this everyday future building. It focuses on imagining future intimate lives and the emotions that inform and accompany such an activity. Thus, such imagining is conceived as a practice of intimacy. Future building is also understood as achieved via embodied and relational forms of emotional reflexivity. Such imagining and building work is crucial to how people feel, think, imagine and do intimacy over time. We suggest that relationships that vary from the normative might provide a good place to begin to see the emotionally reflexive practices of imagining and building future intimacies. From this emerge original insights into how the ability to exercise agency is not just about strategic or instrumental resilience but about the enabling or constraining of actions and change at an emotional level. This happens relationally, as in at an interpersonal level of gendered intimate relationships, but also at a wider structural level around gender relations

Love, Couple Relations and Emotions in Pop-rock Songs in Romania, Today: Specificity and `Globality`

Mona Mihaela Corina Simu

Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romania

In all modern societies, pop songs are one of the best ways to communicate/ capture emotions that are present within different areas of the society. Songs within pop culture are good representations of the society they write about.

With huge audience figures, they reach many people, especially young generations, yet not only. In their texts, they cover actual issues that preoccupy people in their daily lives. Love songs are predominant in the pop-rock culture of every society, and they best depict emotions related to love and intimate lives, and not only.

In the ongoing research I propose here, I studied the textes of 16 (8 female artists; 7 male artists; 1 band) Romanian pop and rock songs during 2017 and 2018, in terms of content/ themes, intending to add 2019.

The method is content and frequency analysis on the songs` texts, looking for aspects related to genders different view upon love and intimate lifes, to youth problems and the ways they express them, couple relations and feelings. The issues occured during analysis were related to concerns about: money, sexuality, relations, familly, marriage, love, belonging and allienation.

The study brings valuable information regarding the manifestation of emotions concerning life today in the Romanian (as European) society, and how gender differences look, in representative art/media forms of the society. The preliminary results were valuable: both male and female artists were relating to love; deceat, loss and separation were the predominant theme in all the songs, with evident differences according to gender.

The Emotional Researcher: Emotions and Ethnographic Fieldwork in Ethical Non-Monogamy Communities in Belgium

Katrien De Graeve

Ghent University, Belgium

Although a substantial body of feminist and postcolonial work has discredited the myth of the impersonal, independent, objective scientist and opened the door for research methodologies that require the full participation of the researcher and immersion in the field, emotional aspects of reflexivity tend to remain neglected and the researcher’s emotions and emotional involvement as sites of knowledge are still relatively underexplored. In this paper, I aim to reflect upon my own and participants’ emotions (of anger, grief, hurt, frustration, tenderness, connection, friendship, etc.) in the course of my fieldwork (both online and real-life) in ‘ethical’ non-monogamy communities in Belgium. Doing so, I aim to investigate my own and participants’ emotional engagement in interpersonal relations and emotion work for its implications (1) for processes of understanding and knowledge production, (2) for activist/action-based research strategies and (3) for the researcher’s and participants’ emotional wellbeing, academic credibility and research ethics. Unpacking some of the complexity of emotions as they play out between researcher and participants (and of what is seen as (legitimate) emotion and what is not), I aim to gain insight in the role of emotions in (understanding) mechanisms of normative power and oppression and in the reproduction of neoliberal and hetero-patriarchal power relations in communities that promote the destruction of these norms. However, a focus on the (gendered, classed, etc.) politics of affect in ‘ethical’ non-monogamy advocacy groups can also open up potential to begin to think of alternative (more effective) strategies of subversion and feminist solidarities and cooperation.

Methodologically Feeling - The Process Of Entering A New Area Of Research Through The Lens Of Emotion Sociology

Cecilia Nordquist

Uppsala University, Sweden

Considering emotional labour as a necessary endeavour when conducting qualitative research, this paper aims to investigate how the process of entering into a new area of research can be accomplished methodologically, as well as from the perspective of emotion sociology. The project at hand investigates the role of emotion and emotion management in judicial and prosecutorial decision-making in Scotland, as a part of doing and upholding objectivity within this setting. The research is carried out within the framework of the project JUSTEMOTIONS , studying how objectivity is constructed and operationalized as an emotive-cognitive applied process of legal decision-making in four different countries. This notion invites methodological discussions and comparisons between countries and legal systems.

The paper investigates the process of gaining access to a research field in a country and within a judicial system not previously known to the researcher. Ethnographical tools such as small talk, field notes and participant listening are discussed both as means to gain access and to collect data. We believe that approaching the field by applying different qualitative methods enhances the understanding of the field itself, and provides different tools of reflection for the researcher.

Key words: Methods; Emotional Labour; Decision-making; Objectivity; Emotions.